Editorial #1 (Sept./Oct. 2011)

In the first introductory issue of HouseShowZine (HSZ), the focus is mostly on on what already exists online: on online links to various pages that are related to house concerts, basement shows and other unconventional venues. I spent more than one week surfing the Internet in search of interesting and relevant pages that would be of any interest to the readers and to my research. It was an overwhelming task, since there are countless pages to open, read, copy, and classify.

I provided all these links for you in two forms on HSZ: 1) they are listed and classified under the Links section, and grouped into the following subsections: General, Acoustic/folk, Alternative, Classical music, jazz, ethnic…, International, and Other unconventional shows; [watch capitalization] 2) in addition, I divided these same links as posts (51 of them at this moment) by various themes under Categories and the subsections Interviews, Local scenes and houses, Reviews of house shows, Essays and articles, Forums, Politics / Legislature, Rules, tips, guides, Music / Songs, Art, Photos, audio, video, and Other unconventional shows. There are also posts under the section “Places,” a category that is still very sparse and calls for more comprehensive coverage of North American and international local house concert scenes. Thus you will find almost every link that I found on the Internet, organized by various criteria, on at least two or three different locations on HSZ. In addition to the links, I also compiled a list of relevant bibliographic sources that might be useful for anybody that is interested in learning more about house concerts and similar cultural phenomena (see Categories > Bibliography).

As you will see, I found and copied innumerable links that you will probably not be able to read through at once. This first issue is thus unusually rich with information but at the same time lacks some original published work. So this is the right moment for me to call for any types of original contributions from your side; see the section “About” for more information.

All the links that I provided on the page at this moment will lead you to numerous interesting pages about house/basement concerts and other unconventional shows. I found much enjoyment in reading (or skimming) them, and I hope you will also. In regard to the work on compiling links, this is also a task that is not yet finished. I am still assembling links, and would also like to ask you to send me links, if you know of any additional ones. Furthermore, I discovered several other Internet pages that are dedicated solely to house concerts (see Links > Acoustic/folk and Links > Alternative). One of them, a blog “Please don’t hang in front of the house” (http://donthangoutinfrontofthehouse.tumblr.com/) is, as I found out just a week ago, actually run by a man named Aaron who I met a year ago at the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) conference in Los Angeles, which I regard as a felicitous stream of circumstances. You will find on his blog a lot of very interesting written, visual and audio material related to house shows that at this stage suitably complements the content of HSZ.

I am inviting you to explore the HSZ, and to further read the texts under sections “About” (HSZ) and “About research.” Come back every month for some new stories and information, and perhaps contribute to this zine in any form that is suitable to you (see “About”).

In the next issue, expect among other things a transcribed interview with a musician/artist Jon Barba about his “Ports O Call bedroom” in West Covina, LA …

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